What are sleep divorces, and why do people get them?

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2022 | Divorce & Family Law |

Marriage means different things to different people, but there are certain standards that apply in most cases. Most married couples share a home and combine their finances. They also often share a room and a bed at night.

However, some couples are pushing back on that last expectation, especially as they move into their golden years. Older couples and couples affected by medical issues are increasingly choosing sleep divorces. Contrary to what you may think from the name, a sleep divorce might actually be a clever tactic to save a struggling marriage.

Sharing a marital bed isn’t always easy

Sleeping together is an expectation in most marriages, and people treat a shared marital bed as a source of comfort and romance. There is something to be said for proximity to the one you love and for space-saving, especially when the other bedrooms in the house are full of your children.

However, when one spouse starts snoring, sharing a bed is no longer a romantic dream. It starts to become a nightmare. A snoring spouse can cause significant disruption to their partner’s nightly sleep. The noises and movements they make while snoring can wake the other spouse repeatedly or prevent them from falling asleep in the first place.

A frustrated spouse who tries to stop the snoring can interrupt the sleep of the spouse snoring, leading to both spouses feeling tired and irritable in the morning. When snoring is just the result of an illness or seasonal allergies, it may not be a big issue. For those who snore nightly, it could cause serious marital issues.

How sleep divorce works

Extended periods of sleep disruption and inadequate rest can affect your health, your emotional resilience and your relationship. Some couples choose to preserve their marriages by choosing a sleep divorce to address these issues.

Unlike a legal divorce which ends a marriage, a sleep divorce is merely an agreed-upon end to your bed-sharing practices. In some cases, spouses each have their own bed in the same room. Other times, they may sleep in separate bedrooms.

A sleep divorce can help couples resolve relationship issues stemming primarily from snoring. However, sleep divorce won’t magically undo other issues in a relationship. Trying different approaches to resolve marital issues can help couples determine whether or not filing for divorce is in their future.